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Square Meals : America's Favorite Comfort Cookbook Paperback – December 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Lebhar-Friedman; Revised edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867308206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867308204
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
One disgusting example is Banana Sardine Boats.
lisa m ham
A great book - and a great read, even for those who "can't cook"!
Jessica Scott
Now i see that there is a revised edition abd I'll have to get another!
John S. Mclaughlin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By lisa m ham on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have a first edition of Square Meals and it is falling apart from use!I'm so glad its back in print so I can get another copy. This cookbook has it all,cultural antropology, humor, excellent old fashioned recipes, and revolting recipes of the past that have providentially disappeared from todays cookbooks. One disgusting example is Banana Sardine Boats. Funny as the awful recipes are, they can't compete with the truely delicious ones like Pepsi Cola Cake,White Bread for Toasting( its the best white bread recipe i've ever used and the book includes a breadmaking diagram from the 30's to assist you ), Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Curry from the Ladies Lunch section( its exotic comfort food that both spice jaded palates and curry neophytes can enjoy together) and a 1905 recipe for Baked Spagetti (don't worry, it does't have any scary garlic or oregano in it!!). The Sterns reprint exerpts from old home ec pamphlets and cookbooks giving you a glimpse of your grandmothers past. if you read cookbooks like novels,read this one and you won't be dissapointed.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ann Makowski on November 30, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The stories that lead to the recipes in this cookbook are what you'll want to read in bed, on the subway, etc. The recipes are what will make you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about rice pudding. I bought the original hardback edition 15 years ago and have actually purchased several more through used-book firms for gifts. It's truly the perfect wedding/engagement/housewarming gift for any baby-boomer -- where else can you find a whole chapter of high-school-cafeteria recipes? Granted, you may not want to actually make or eat the mac-and-cheese recipe, but the prose and recipe will make you feel like a teenager again! I own a couple hundred cookbooks and this is the one I keep by my bedside.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David G. Smith on December 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
We had a hawaiian cowboy party, yes, a Don Ho Down. People came dressed a little hawaiian, a little cowboy. The biggest hit food wise was...well...you take a cabbage, hollow out the top, get a can of sterno,light it, take some skewers, poke them in the cabbage, put small sausages on the skewers...then you take out the skewers and heat them on the sterno....Those hawaiian cowboys had just been indoctrinated into the wonderful world of The Sterns, and Square Meals. I have always called Square meals the way real people eat, or ate in the forties, fifties, sixties but it aint just a cookbook(by the way, the mac and cheese is great)...but a fabulous introduction to two of the nations greatest pop sociologists, Jane and Michael Stern. Jane and Michael have explored Elvis, gone around the country eating in diners and dives, written an encyclopedia of Bad Taste, These people are in love with America in the muted, nostalgic tones that America comes off the best in. Square meals puts you in touch with a gentler, kinder time, where the people were nice and the food was fattening. I cannot recommend this cookbook and the work of the sterns enough
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Constant Librarian on March 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Only Jane and Michael Stern could have written this hilarious historic cookbook. They combed archives and libraries and found quintessential recipies reflecting American domestic cooking, dating from approximately the 1930's to the early 1970's.
Where else could you find a book that includes a recipie for Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast for 100 (from the World War II chapter,) horrifying things to do with bananas (from the nursery foods chapter), and the hilarious high point--the Luau in Your Living Room circa 1957. I won't ruin this for you other than to inform you that it involves cabbage, vienna sausages, toothpicks and a can of sterno.
I've made a few recipies from the book and they've all turned out great. So, not only is it a hoot, you can find recipies for real down home American cooking.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John S. Mclaughlin on May 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have an edition which was published 1984 by Alfreed A Knopf. Now i see that there is a revised edition abd I'll have to get another!
I first ran into yhis book one saturday in '90. By Sunday evening, I Had read the entire thing, been back to the bookstore just before it closed to get another copy as a gift for my mother. I have never read a cookbook that I have so thouroughly enjoyed just Reading! Not to mention the recipies contained in it. The style of wriring is delightful, imagine listening to you favorite "Elder Relatives" talking about the way things were cooked, and WHY they were cooked. It is as much a history of cooking and cooking styles, as a cookcoook.
My favorite sections are Nursery Food, and Victory Dinner and Mothers Sunday Dinner. Wherever you go, in within this book you will find many gems; like how the rationing system chaned eating and menues in WW II. Or the 3 pages on how to properly prepare toast!
You'll love the wit and research that have gone into this book! You can't go wrong with this one! .. Now i'm off to get copy #3 (just in case!)
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K916 on April 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Square Meals is definately a good read, whether that be in the bathtub or in bed, my two favorite places to pick it up. If ever two people were destined to help us feel comfort when eating, it is Jane and Michael Stern. They truly give new meaning to the words "comfort food" not just by sharing recreated recipes for the food of our youth, but the setting in which to serve it, and the rules by which to eat it. I knew these authors KNEW me, shared my childhood, when I reached the soda fountain section and they debated the question I debated so often myself: When presented with a small pitcher of hot fudge with your ice cream, do you portion it out so there is always an equal ratio? Do you dribble it on? or....do you drink the hot fudge in a pure, hedonistic ritual. Ah yes. My youth, recaptured here, with some mighty fine recipes for those nights when only Tuna Casserole and a rented video will make you feel better.
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